Android for Work keeps office, home data separate on a single device

Android for Work
One device, separate data

The days of carrying separate devices for work and pleasure may soon be a thing of the past when Android L arrives later this year thanks to the platform's new-found ability to separate data on a single handset or tablet.

Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai shifted Google IO 2014 from Android running on Chromebooks back to the forthcoming Android L update, which promises to make life easier for corporate employees currently carrying more than one smartphone.

"As a user, you can have one experience, and both your personal applications and your corporate applications can live on the same device. All your personal data is isolated from your corporate stuff, and vice versa," Pichai announced on the IO stage.

Dubbed Android for Work, the new initiative is intended to help enterprise and corporate customers deploy devices to employees with minimum hassle. A certification program will help in this effort, and it launches in the fall.

Made for work

Thanks to a set of new APIs and what Pichai calls "underlying data separation," Android L will allow a more seamless user experience for home and work applications, with a separate app planned for similar functionality on older devices.

These APIs require no modification to existing apps, works with bulk deployment of apps and takes advantage of Samsung's Knox platform to maintain full security for sensitive corporate data.

With more than 190 million active users monthly, Google Drive is also receiving some welcome work-related improvements thanks to Drive for Work, an unlimited storage option featuring encrypted data priced at only $10 (about UK£6, AU$11) per user per month.

Along with the announcement of the Google Slides mobile app for Android and iOS, Pichai also introduced native editing support for Microsoft Office documents, meaning no more format conversion when going from Word to Docs.

  • Need more Google? Check out our up-to-the-minute review of Google Glass!